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Any additional comments?
I'm not interested in emigrating to the UK, but I am an Anglophile who has visited the UK and has read/watched/listened to quite a lot of UK history. I was curious to know how I'd perform on the sample tests, given my current knowledge. (It turns out that I passed nearly all of the sample tests without studying, but I'd need to brush up on names in sports and film-making if I were to take an actual test.)
I'm used to reading richer and more in-depth books about the UK, so it was a bit jarring to hear the concise content in this study guide. I understand that there's no need to understand context, personalities, and nuances to get through the test itself. However, I encourage anyone who is interested in moving to the UK to explore other information sources as well. Simon Schama's multi-volume audiobook 'History of Britain' is fascinating (along with the video series by the same name). There are many, many compelling books about the political, royal, and military histories of the UK as well. In other words, you can review the study guide and take the sample tests but you don't really get an appreciation of history unless you explore the topics more and visit/live in the UK yourself.
This is an audio study guide, so it's intended to be concise. I was wondering how the portion of the book with sample tests and answers would be in audiobook format, since it can be challenging answering oral test questions without seeing printed questions in front of you. However, I simply rewound the audiobook by a few seconds to repeat the questions, and paused to think about my answers, so it was easier than I expected to complete the tests. Also, I liked that we were given the correct answers immediately after each test (rather than hearing all of the test questions for all of the tests, followed by all of the answers to all of the tests).
Some folks might think it's unusual to use an audio study guide. I'm a post-secondary educator who teaches many graduate-level international students. When they ask me for tips to prepare for my exams, I always suggest (among other things) audio review/study. I suggest that they prepare study notes on paper and then dictate them into their smartphones. Then, they should play their dictated study notes as part of their preparation. Waiting for a bus? Brushing your teeth? Waiting in line to pay for groceries? Simply press play to hear your study notes. It's not a one-stop solution to preparing for examinations, but it can be a good study tool. (When I was preparing to write a professional examination in project management, audio studying while commuting to work was part of my preparation.)
I found the narration to be quite slow-paced. Normally that would bother me, but I think it works well for this particular audiobook. If you're listening to learn (and memorize) new information, a slower pace is reasonable. I increased the playback speed when I listened, since I was generally familiar with much of the material in the study guide already. If English is not your first language, you'll appreciate the slower narration pace.
Since I have never taken the actual test or done research about it, I don't know how well the questions represent content that you'd see on the official test. Perhaps other reviewers might have observations about the validity of the content/tests (relative to the official test). If you're taking a high-stakes test such as an immigration examination, I think it would be a good idea to consult more than one study guide/resource/reference. If I were personally preparing for the official UK test, I think that this audio study guide would be very helpful.
If I were to make any suggestions for improvement, it would be this: When providing the answers for the sample test, provide an additional sentence or two explaining why the correct answer is correct and why the other answers are wrong. It's extra work for the author, but I think it can be helpful to some learners. For example, if the question is about placing events in chronological order (e.g., signing of the Magna Carta, Black Death occurs, Canterbury Tales is written), the answer could also indicate what years each of these events took place and what (briefly) each event was.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Not unless they were planning a move to the U.K.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
There is no &quot;story&quot; but I found the historical review interesting and concise.
Which scene was your favorite?
Probably the historical review.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Not germain to the title.
Any additional comments?
Different people learn in different ways. I listen to audio books when I exercise so this topic under those circumstances probably isn't the best choice for me personally, That being said, I can see a great value in the audio book being a companion piece to the print version or for those that learn better by listening. Keep in mind that all of the content of the print guide is here so there should be no excuse for not passing the test!
A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review.